Djokovic Drops A Set In Rome Opener, Serena Rolls; Nadal, Federer, Murray In Action Tuesday
by Staff | May 12th, 2015, 5:16 pm
  • 52 Comments

Novak Djokovic opened his Rome title defense with a hard-fought 3-set win over Spanish veteran Nicolas Almagro 6-1, 6-7(5), 6-3.

“At the end of the day it’s a win after three weeks with no official match,” said Djokovic. “In the important moments today, I did feel a little bit uncomfortable. Maybe that’s due to a lack of competitive play in the past couple of weeks. But I won against a quality player, who knows how to play on the big stage. All in all, it was a great test. Before coming to the court, I was aware he was going to present a great challenge.

“I needed to take some time off, because I have played a lot of matches,” the 3-time Rome champ added. “It has been one of the best starts to the season of my life. But it took a lot out of me, mostly mentally. So I needed to really take it off, recharge my batteries and spend some time at home. It probably did affect my overall feeling on the court today, especially in the tough moments. Hopefully the day off tomorrow will allow to spend some more time on the court, working to get better in the next one.”

Novak has won 18 straight matches and 22 in a row at the Masters level now.

Also, Stan Wawrinka overcame a set down to beat Juan Monaco. “For me, it’s never easy when I get into a tournament,” Wawrinka said. “Juan is a tough player to play, especially on clay. I’m happy to get through. The most important thing is to win matches.”

Tomas Berdych, David Ferrer, Kevin Anderson, Roberto Bautista Agut, Feliciano Lopez and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga all were seeded winners without losing a set. Lopez ousted 20-year-old Nick Kyrgios for his 100th career clay win.

“It was a great win, beating Nick today, after his performance in Madrid and Estoril, where he reached the final,” said Lopez. “I have not been so confident on the clay this season, but I hope this win will give me a boost.”

The lone upset was pulled by Guillermo Garcia-Lopez who beat US Open champion Marin Cilic 6-4, 6-3.

In the women’s draw, top seed Serena Williams shook off an early elbow concern to breeze past Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, 6-1, 6-3.

“I love Rome. I always love coming to Rome,” said Serena who has won 15 straight in Rome including two straight titles. “I have always liked playing in Europe in general. It’s always been a special place for me, and I am always sad when I leave.”

Maria Sharapova and Timea Bacsinszky were also second round winners. Jelena Jankovic, Carla Saurez Navarro and Lucie Safarova were first round victors.

On Wednesday, several top names are in action with Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Andy Murray taking the court. The women will see play from Petra Kvitova and Caroline Wozniacki who takes on fellow former No. 1 Victora Azarenka.

Regarding his slumping game, Nadal is taking things in stride.

“It’s not good as it was in the past,” Nadal said. “bbut I’m happy with my life, which has been fantastic to me. If I don’t win, life continues.”

WEDNESDAY ROME SCHEDULE
CENTRALE start 12:00
ATP – [3] A. Murray (GBR) vs J. Chardy (FRA)
ATP – [Q] M. Ilhan (TUR) vs [4] R. Nadal (ESP)
WTA – V. Azarenka (BLR) vs [5] C. Wozniacki (DEN)
Not Before 7:30 pm
ATP – P. Cuevas (URU) vs [2] R. Federer (SUI)
Not Before 9:00 pm
WTA – [WC] K. Knapp (ITA) vs [4] P. Kvitova (CZE)

GRANDSTAND start 11:00 am
WTA – A. Riske (USA) vs [2] S. Halep (ROU)
Not Before 12:00 noon
ATP – J. Vesely (CZE) vs [5] K. Nishikori (JPN)
ATP – D. Thiem (AUT) vs [12] G. Simon (FRA)
WTA – [14] V. Williams (USA) vs E. Svitolina (UKR)
Not Before 7:00 pm
ATP – [11] F. Lopez (ESP) vs V. Troicki (SRB)


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52 Comments for Djokovic Drops A Set In Rome Opener, Serena Rolls; Nadal, Federer, Murray In Action Tuesday

Šuškica Says:

Javiiiii seeee.. ;(


Rick Says:

He should be a wishful thinker like Fed, who reckon that he will wins another major . He doesn’t sound very confidence, talking like this. This is not good for him playing competition with this attitude.


Zozza Says:

Very honest man
Great player
True legend
Yes we know he isn’t as good as 2013 for example
But on clay he can find his best hopefully


Margot Says:

Hope Andy doesn’t go deep here.
No, guys n gals I really do meant it! He’s played a heck of a lot of tennis lately and needs some R n R.
@Giles
Lol u really care what “Greg The Mouth” says?
Nice one Canada….not.


FedExpress Says:

@rick
yep federer and nadal are both wishful thinkers

one reached the WImbledon final last year and lost in the fifth set and the other is the reinging RG champ


Colin Says:

A rather underwhelming match from Murray and Chardy, with Andy doing enough to win, assisted by numerous errors from the Frenchman.

Still, Muzza gets to the next round without too much effort, and in the second set his first serve was working well.


Margot Says:

Magical Murray maintains magisterial might.
Whereas mealy-mouthed Molin…….;)


Colin Says:

Margot, who’s this Molin person?

Surely you can’t mean me (though I know you were joking). After all, it was you who didn’t want Andy to go seep in Madrid.


Colin Says:

Or even go DEEP. We certainly don’t want him seeping on court!


Margot Says:

A bit of alliteration Colin.
No, definitely don’t want him to “seep” but he can win a couple of matches….. if he likes……;)


TennisVagabond.com Says:

Rafa dishes a bagel. Some posters here are writing him off WAY too early.

The Cilic loss is a real bummer. What happened to the USO champ? Are we back to Big Four and no one else? Is it 2012 again?


jane Says:

definitely agree about rafa. why would anyone write him off? we saw something similar last year. and as people have pointed out, he might’ve lost madrid last year too were it not for kei’s injury. but he still won the french.


jane Says:

bouchard won her first set but i see ivanovic’s struggles continue.


Giles Says:

I reckon there are certain posters on here trying to jinx Rafa with their patronising comments. You know who you are!!


jane Says:

theim is through to the next round. he’ll face stan next; i’d love to catch that match.


FedExpress Says:

azarenka wins in the TB after failing to serve it out and DFing on 2 of her 4MBs

no choking queen


RZ Says:

Murray is now 10-0 on the red stuff in 2015. I’m loving it, but still somewhat surprised. :-)


jalep Says:

Yep jane, dear little Camila Giorgi lost yesterday and sweet Ana lost her match today :(

But Simona won and looks like Romanian girls are on a roll in general.

Yes, Eugenie. She got by tough Kazakh Zarina.Diyas. That’s progress.

Petra’s match still to come.


jalep Says:

Love to catch the Thiem v Wawa match too!

And this Dimitrov v Fognini looks like a good one…wish I was watching.

RZ
Murray 10-0 on clay. He’s a clay revelation so far this season!


Markus Says:

Will Ivanovic hire another new coach now? Ana should know by now that the problem couldn’t be the coach. It’s her!


jalep Says:

“Murray maintains his magisterial might”
Excellent headline, Margot.


Daniel Says:

Fognini in the zone this third set.


jalep Says:

Oh.. Magical Murray maintains. ..

:D


Daniel Says:

TV, Nadal had the easiest opponents in his second round match this last two masters, very lucky to build his confidence. The others Big 4 had to play Almagro, Chardy, Kyrgios, Cuevas, all with way more credentials than the guy Nadal played. It was clear that guy was 2 level below the top 50-100. This match mean nothing in the long run, just a guy overwhelmed by playing a big players in a big court, probably for the first time.

Let’s see how Nadal will perform against Isner, who is playing his best tennis all clay season and than from QF onwards where the big guys start playing each other.

For him to reach final he will have to go through Isner, Wawrinka, Fed/Berdych which will give us a clear stage where his game is at in this last tourney pre RG.


jalep Says:

@Daniel

5-0 Fabio in the decider? Italians loving it!


jalep Says:

Hahaha…Fabio bagels Grigor and wins at home :D :D


TennisVagabond.com Says:

Daniel, that’s a murderers row of opponents right there, just to get to Novak.

Look, these things are difficult to predict. Some players drop off suddenly and unexpectedly (JMac, Rios, Sampras and others). Others, like Agassi, or Becker or Federer seem to have a smoother slide out.

That said, Rafa’s been in this position before, written off, the same words said: “His body gave out. We all said it would.”

He’s come back from these events winning Slams. Is this his biggest ever slump? Possibly. Given his history of comebacks, I wouldn’t bet against another stretch of greatness. Honestly, even if he falls at RG, if he makes a decent showing, I’ll still expect better things.

Perhaps I’m just a shell-shocked Fed fan with an awe of Rafa.


FedExpress Says:

tell the sky sports nerd that nadal was not 0-2 sets fown to isner at the french

he was 1-2 down ffs


jalep Says:

@Daniel

As usual, enjoy reading your opinions and analysis.

But I do see Rafa’s draw to the final as a potential confidence building exercise. Rafa did a brilliant job of cracking the code to beating the human Trebuchet. Wawrinka is still looking wiped out emotionally, though he won v Monaco again.
Federer…we know how that goes v Rafa. Berdych will play like a mental midget again. In the final he will be tough to beat. That’s how I see it, anyway.


FedExpress Says:

that sky sports american expert has no clue
fed played cuevas in madrid?

yeah on the playground


jalep Says:

Point being: this is potentially just the type of path to the final that could help Rafa enormously.


jalep Says:

BTW Giles, not patronizing Rafa and I don’t believe in jinx’s. Truly impressed by how Rafa beat Isner in Monte Carlo and see the other of Rafa’s opponents weaknesses v him. Not saying it’s an easy draw for him from here to the final but it’s completely doable.


FedExpress Says:

tsongas forehand is gone. no pace and power


FedExpress Says:

tiebreak time
and already MB down

fed and TBs will never get along


FedExpress Says:

fifth TB in a row for Fed btw


Daniel Says:

Wow, Federer getting to an impossible ball to win tiebreak in style. Magic shot, another for his impressive list.


FedExpress Says:

good quality set but Feds ROS is just laughable atm


FedExpress Says:

that was just utter genius


Daniel Says:

Even if Nadla makes finals, most likelly, i fee the winner of the Djoko/Murray/Kei will take the title. Nadal will have the Madrid final hunting him so I expect him to be nervous tomdeliver again. If it is agaisnt Murray he will be tense. Djoko (who) if arrives there will be on a 25 matches winning streak on Master plus winning last 4 and Kei will have 2 great wins over Djoko and possibly Murray so he will bebon great form.

But from what I see from Kei today I don’t thibk he will pass Djoko and Murray won’t lose to Tsonga (who wasn’t playing great either). Feel like it’s going to be another Djoko/Murray showdown. Maybe Ferrer get’s Murray on Quarters.

Anything can happen but the two playera most confident at the moment are Djoko (even with set lost) and Murray. They are serving great, Djoko getting a lot of free poitns and almost 10 aces. Murray also with hos kick second serve who is working better in clay than HC. Still a lot to be played but with tomorrows matches we can gauge better. But who woyld have though after how Nadal played agaisnt Berdych last week that the final will go that way?! So..anythingg can happen


sienna Says:

fed and breakers will never get along?

have you ever looked at his win%?
he probably is the best tiebreak player the world has seen. worthy of goat. hope Idont jinx him like Cilic.


Daniel Says:

My bad, now that I realize Taonga lost LOL.


jalep Says:

I’m home now getting to view today’s matches.

@Daniel I agree with you about Kei not getting past Andy or Nole. Also about who will win the final…Andy or Nole. I just think Rafa will get there too and battle it out with one of them.

Assuming Federer and Berdych meet, which
isn’t a given: Federer leads Berdych 13-6. 5 of Berdych’s wins were on hard, 1 on grass. One of Federer”s wins clay was that tight match on the notorious Blue clay in Madrid, 2012. Have to go back to 2005 and 2006 to find the other 2 times Federer won on clay at Hamburg and FO, respectively.

Anyway, getting ahead of things. Federer has to beat Anderson tomorrow and Berdych has to get by Fognini, which I think he will but you never can completely be sure with the great Fabio :D


Wog Boy Says:

I think Rafa will take Rome, only saturtday is predicted to rain but he should play Roger, sunday hot and dry. If you watched his match against Ilhan you could see how much more bite his shots have in these conditions and physically he is absolutely fine. He was whipping the ball yesterday, I am telling you Rafa is tuned for FO.
jalep, stop jinxing Rafa, no?


jalep Says:

;) Wog Boy.

Agree Rafa will be tuned very well for FO; whether he wins Rome or not. Haven’t watched the Rafa-Ilhan.match yet but I believe you.

Still watching Magesterial Murray beat Chardy.


Wog Boy Says:

The only bad news for Rafa (and some of his fans on TX) in Rome is that Italians (Juventus) kicked the back side of his beloved Real Madrid and will play champoins league final in Berlin with Barcelona. I hope the old lady can go all the way (very difficult), Juve was always my favorite Italian club, partly because of club colours, I even watched them in 1973 in Belgrade losing the final to Ajax Amsterdam.

Forza Juve


jalep Says:

Do you recognize the names Vincenzo Nibali, Fabio Aru, Michele.Scarponi, Wog Boy? Forza Giro d Italia! (which is now in progress) Nothing better than the Italian tifosi.


django Says:

Wog boy
I agree. I think Rafa, if he gets past Isner can win it all.


Daniel Says:

He may get tired if he goes to finals, depends if he has long matches or not. Inner match could easily go 3 sets. So semis with Berdych or Federer. Will see, still fancy Djoko’s chance.

He is hitting the ball hard, deep and his serve is best I ever seen. Winning a lot of free points and aces. Plus, Djoko loves this tuner and I think as he skip Madrid he is ready to go all out to not lose any momentum and “invincibility” aura pre RG.

The good thing is, come Sunday all questions will be answered, and the only question mark will be how favorite will Nadal be for RG? With title in Rome beating Djoko, he goes to #1 favorite, losing to Djoko #2 favorite, anything less and more doubts.


Wog Boy Says:

Yes I do, though I don’t follow it except when I sit dawn late in evening with my glass of drink after long day at work,and switch on TV to enjoy scenery while they are riding, whether it is France or Italy.
You are right about “Tifosi”, they rock, the legendary 1973 match I was blessed to witness had thousands of tifosi flocking to Belgrade for the match, they came by cars, buses, planes, you name it. They slept in the parks, cars, where ever they could and they made atmosphere that young man like me remembers for the rest of his life. This link, that I’ll give you is documentary about that match, you can see how people looked like, dressed, behaved and what cars they drove 42 years ago, and you can also see my city, it is half an hour but you can pick when and what to watch:

http://youtu.be/p26iQLFR2Oc

I promise I’ll start riding the bike, I have one in garage, besides I have to, doctor ordered me to exercise more, though I prefer kayaking (I feel great just sitting and floating on the water) but she said I need to do more leg work, so I will combine both from now on:)


Wog Boy Says:

^^for jalep


jane Says:

makes sense, that if rafa passes the isner test, he has a great shot of winning it. he’s got a great record versus fed and berych. who else can challenge him on that side?

novak will have to go through bellucci, to whom he’s lost at least a set on clay before, kei (likely) and andy (likely) or maybe ferrer before reaching the finals. he played well versus nico but also showed rust.

plus he’s due for a runner up result at best, based on past rome results:

2007 quarters/2008 champ/2009 runner up/2010 quarters/2011 champ/2012 runner up/2013 quarters/2014 champ / 2015…?

see the pattern?!


jalep Says:

that’s a treasure of a memory to have for sure, Wog Boy. watched the whole video – it was Yugoslavia then.

Was sad that Ajaks won. But the Dutchies make some pretty funny tifosi, too. All those beer bottles.

Still. Italian National Anthem is the best…

enjoyed that while one eye was on Rafa’s match. I see what you mean, but he was playing Ilhan.

(Italy, the parts shown in the Giro,is spectacular!)

Anyway, I’ve been wrong on these predictions…once in a while, but I doubt Rafa will lose to Isner…just won’t happen.

That is some pattern re: Nole’s record in Rome, jane. that’s all I’ll say about it :/

Happy Petra Kvitova won today but the Italian wild card, Karin Knapp but up a good fight.

I’m gonna fast forward to the Fognini/Dimitrov match!

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